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Germany Builds Most Accurate Clock in the World

Update Date: Feb 15, 2016 02:09 AM EST
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Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) experts have created a timepiece which is apparently the most accurate one on Earth, achieving extraordinary accuracy levels with a new atomic clock. Also known as optical single-ion clock, the device performs by computing the vibrational frequency of ytterbium ions as they swing back and forth hundreds of trillions times every second amongst two levels of energy.

With their latest development, Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt becomes the first research group to have developed an optical single-ion clock that attains high levels of accuracy that has also been proven and projected theoretically, reported Zee News

So far, the most exact atomic clock measured the caesium atoms among two states of energy. As per the standard International Units, one second is described as the time it taked one caesium electron to swing precisely 9,192,631,770 times. Even though this definition has been used since 1967, this research might encourage further study into redifining the second. If so, the second will also become a part of other units such as kilogram, kelvin, mole, and ampere that have been up for redefinition by the International Committee for Weights and Measures in 2018, says BABW News

The new optical atomic clock and old caesium clocks report a difference in the high excitation frequency of up to 1,000,000,000,000,000 Hz, thus making the newly created clock much more stable and accurate as compared to the caesium clocks.

The atomic clock theory was propounded in 1980 by Nobel Prize winner, Hans Dehmelt. Even though many atomic clocks have since then been built, the one by PTB is the first one to achieve unparalleled levels of accuracy that was only possible on paper. The study was published in the journal Physical Review Letters, as reported by Wired

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